The Lawfare Podcast-logo

The Lawfare Podcast


The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information.


United States


The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information.






Lawfare Archive: Deterring Russian Cyber Intrusions

From December 24, 2016: Whatever the President-elect might say on the matter, the question of Russian interference in the presidential election is not going away: calls continue in the Senate for an investigation into the Kremlin's meddling, and the security firm Crowdstrike recently released new information linking one of the two entities responsible for the DNC hack with Russia's military intelligence agency. So how should the United States respond? In War on the Rocks, Evan Perkoski and...


What's Up With the January 6 Investigation?

The January 6 investigating committee in the House is busily issuing subpoenas, collecting documents and negotiating with witnesses for depositions. It is also being defied by certain witnesses, and the former president is threatening to try to stop the National Archives from turning over material related to his activities and communications during and leading up to the January 6 insurrection. To chew over the entire spectrum of issues the committee is facing, Benjamin Wittes sat down with...


Finstas, Falsehoods and the First Amendment

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s recent testimony before Congress has set in motion a renewed cycle of outrage over the company’s practices—and a renewed round of discussion around what, if anything, Congress should do to rein Facebook in. But how workable are these proposals, really? This week on Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Jeff Kosseff, an associate professor of cybersecurity law at the United States...


What's Going on in Afghanistan?

Bryce Klehm sat down with Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Lawfare senior editor Scott R. Anderson, to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan. They covered a range of issues, including the Taliban government's formation since the U.S. withdrawal, the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the international community's response. Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information.


Martijn Rasser on CIA and Emerging Technology

Last week, CIA director William Burns issued a statement with a number of organizational changes and other initiatives regarding the CIA. Most media attention was drawn to the creation of a new China Mission Center, but there were several new initiatives on the technology front that also warrant attention. He talked about a new Technology Fellows program, a new Transnational and Technology Mission Center, a new chief technology officer, and a corporate board devoted to technology issues. To...


Adam Klein and Benjamin Wittes on FISA

Two weeks ago, the Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General released a report on the FBI's mishandling of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications. It's the latest in a string of Inspector General reports and other documents to talk about the process. To go through the latest report, why the process is so important and what it all means, Jacob Schulz sat down on Lawfare Live with Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes, and Adam Klein, the former chairman of the Privacy...


Lawfare Archive: Maria Ressa on the Weaponization of Social Media

From October 15, 2020: On this episode of Lawfare's Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek spoke with Maria Ressa, a Filipino-American journalist and co-founder of Rappler, an online news site based in Manila. Maria was included in Time's Person of the Year in 2018 for her work combating fake news, and is currently fighting a conviction for “cyberlibel” in the Philippines for her role at Rappler. Maria and her fight are the subject of the film, “A Thousand Cuts,” released...


White House Pressure, the Justice Department and the Election

The majority staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee has issued an interim report, entitled “Subverting Justice: How the Former President and His Allies Pressured DOJ to Overturn the 2020 Election.” A lot of it covers ground we knew about previously, but it contains a raft of new details about the president's pressure on the Justice Department to support his election fraud claims, the resignation of a U.S. attorney in Georgia, and the bizarre attempt to install as acting attorney general a...


Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith on Reforming the Presidency

It's been almost a year since Trump lost the presidency and over nine months since a new administration and a new congressional majority took power. We’re moving further and further away from Trump's controversial use of presidential authorities, and it seems like we've lost momentum in the push for systemic changes to prevent future abuses. Fortunately, some people are still pushing. Natalie Orpett sat down with Bob Bauer, former White House counsel to President Obama, and Jack Goldsmith,...


Russia Cracks Down on Social Media

In the last few weeks, the Russian government has been turning up the heat on tech platforms in an escalation of its long-standing efforts to bring the internet under its control. First, Russia forced Apple and Google to remove an app from their app stores that would have helped voters select non-Kremlin-backed candidates in the country’s recent parliamentary elections. Then, the government threatened to block YouTube within Russia if the platform refused to reinstate two German-language...


Jessica Davis on Terrorism Financing

Jessica Davis is the author of a new book on terrorism financing called, “Illicit Money: Financing Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century.” She's also the president and principal consultant at Insight Threat Intelligence, the president of the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies, and associate fellow at the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies. She sat down with Jacob Schulz to talk about her new book and about terrorism financing more broadly. They discussed...


U.S. Prosecutors Indict a Canadian ISIS Propagandist

Over the weekend, news broke about U.S. prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia indicting Mohammed Khalifa, a Canadian who traveled to Syria in 2013 and later joined the Islamic state where he became the English language voice for a series of Islamic State propaganda videos. The indictment is a big deal, both because of the person it implicates and because it's a U.S. court trying a Canadian man for crimes committed in Iraq and Syria. To break it all down, Jacob Schulz spoke with...


The Saga of Eddie Gallagher and the Navy SEALs

Bryce Klehm sat down with David Philipps, a New York Times correspondent and the author of “Alpha: Eddie Gallagher and the War for the Soul of the Navy SEALs.” They talked about the saga of Eddie Gallagher, the Navy SEAL acquitted of stabbing an ISIS prisoner. Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information.


Lawfare Archive: Mira Rapp-Hooper and Stephan Haggard on North Korea

From August 5, 2017: The growing threat from North Korea has intensified during the past few weeks after a series of missile tests demonstrated that the Kim regime may soon be able to strike the continental United States. This week, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Mira Rapp-Hooper, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and Stephan Haggard, a distinguished professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, to discuss recent events and the path...


Lawfare Archive: Ambassador David O'Sullivan on the US-EU Relationship

From October 9, 2018: It's easy to spend all our time focusing on American domestic politics these days, but the rest of the world is not going away. Take the European Union, for example—our neighbors from across the pond, and one of the US's most valuable economic and security relationships. There's a lot going on over there, and some of it even involves us. How is that relationship faring in the age of tariffs, presidential blusters, Brexit, and tensions over Iran sanctions? To figure...


Hostage Diplomacy Between China, Canada and the United States

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, is free, having been put on a flight from Canada back to her native China. Moments later, two Canadians held in China were also freed and put on flights back to Canada in what many are describing as hostage diplomacy by the People's Republic of China. The United States had indicted Wanzhou and Huawei for bank fraud but dropped the indictment against her at least, having reached a deferred prosecution agreement with her in which she gave...


Defamation Down Under

Just two days ago, on September 28, CNN announced that it was turning off access to its Facebook pages in Australia. Why would the network cut off Facebook users Down Under? It’s not a protest of Facebook or… Australians. CNN’s move was prompted by a recent ruling by the High Court of Australia in Fairfax Media and Voller, which held that media companies can be held liable for defamatory statements made by third parties in the comments on their public pages, even if they didn’t know about...


Ronen Bergman on the A.I.-Assisted, Remote-Control Killing Machine

Ronan Bergman is a reporter for the New York Times and the author of the book, “Rise and Kill First,” a history of Israeli targeted killings. Most recently with Farnaz Fassihi, he is the author of a lengthy New York Times investigative report entitled, “The Scientist and the A.I.-Assisted, Remote-Control Killing Machine,” which is the story of the use of a ground-based robotic machine gun to kill an Iranian nuclear scientist. He joined Benjamin Wittes from Tel-Aviv to talk about the...


An Election in Germany

Over the weekend, Germany held elections to see who will succeed Angela Merkel as Germany's chancellor. The results are in, but there's still a lot of coalition building to go. To break it all down, Jacob Schulz sat down with Constanze Stelzenmüller, the Fritz Stern Chair on Germany and trans-Atlantic Relations and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Yascha Mounk, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced and International Studies, both of whom are experts...


Benjamin Haddad on Submarine Contracts and French Anger

France is mad. More specifically, France is mad about Australia reneging on a deal for French submarines and opting to go instead with an American contract. It's all part of AUKUS, a new trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States that was announced two weeks ago. France recalled its ambassador to the U.S. and otherwise expressed dismay at the development. Jacob Schulz sat down with Benjamin Haddad, the senior director of the Europe Center at the...